"A Roman Catholic Defence Force": The role of the Provisional IRA?

Northern Voice

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Recently came across the following quotes in Sean O'Callaghan's book The Informer.

"Republicanism traditionally spoke of uniting Catholic Protestant and dissenter under the common name of Irishman, yet the Provisional IRA used a parochial house to induct local men into the IRA. Young largely uneducated lads were brought to the priests house at night to be sworn in. The local priest was more than likely the same priest who heard their confession, whose mass they attended and all the while they knew their priest actively supported the IRA. What kind of effect did this have on them? Could they really be expected to believe their churches denounciation of the IRA was without ambiguity."

"The truth is that I had come to Northern Ireland abysmally ignorant of the realities and yet prepared to kill and bomb. the Provisional IRA was a Catholic defense organization and I wasn't even a practising Catholic!"
Do people reckon these allegations are the discredited rantings of an informant or do they have a degree of truth in them? The PIRA has often been hailed as non-sectarian but if these claims were true they blow that out of the water.

Thoughts?
 


Tomas Mor

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Many priests supported the IRA. Did Callaghan not say that the killers of catholic Inspector Flanagan found a safe bolt hole in a priests house after the event, another priest said of the killing of a goldfinch UDR female that she would never give birth to any Prods in the future, and we had the notorious Fr. Chesney of course. But there were many good priests like Fr. Denis Faul, Fr Anthony Mulvey,Fr.Gerry Reynolds, Cathal Daly etc.
 

SevenStars

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Thoughts?

My first thought reading this was to ask the mods to ban me from posting in the "Northern Ireland" section....Honestly, people will believe what they want they want to and pick out facts to support their case rather than attempt to understand the bigger picture.

Northern Vioce....Roman Catholicism isnt THAT essentially different from the Reformed Churches, they both are Christian and being RC is not the same as being a satanist or something.
 

Just Jack

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Their ‘role’ was to unite North and South.

(If that meant maiming, injuring or butchering innocent Catholics along the way then so be it)

They failed.
 

Darren H

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Recently The PIRA has often been hailed as non-sectarian
Not by anyone with an ounce of credibility. Or any Unionist.

Although, I suppose they were at least even handed in killing and maiming, with more Catholic victims than any single grouping in the Troubles.
 

Northern Voice

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Thoughts?

My first thought reading this was to ask the mods to ban me from posting in the "Northern Ireland" section....Honestly, people will believe what they want they want to and pick out facts to support their case rather than attempt to understand the bigger picture.

Northern Vioce....Roman Catholicism isnt THAT essentially different from the Reformed Churches, they both are Christian and being RC is not the same as being a satanist or something.
I am trying to understand the bigger picture. I am trying to work out if there was really as much of a link between the PIRA and the church (in a localised sense, not as a whole) as O'Callaghan claims.
 

Arracht

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I am trying to understand the bigger picture. I am trying to work out if there was really as much of a link between the PIRA and the church (in a localised sense, not as a whole) as O'Callaghan claims.
Perhaps with individual priests. I've no doubt you wouldn't need to look too hard to find similar links between individual Protestant ministers and loyalist murder gangs.
 
S

SeamusNapoleon

I am trying to understand the bigger picture. I am trying to work out if there was really as much of a link between the PIRA and the church (in a localised sense, not as a whole) as O'Callaghan claims.
Here, look, priests are people like anyone else.
I'm not saying I agree with that - the opposite in fact - and, due to their 'calling', they should be well above some temporal matters.

Watching Reeling in the Years there on sunday (2006) with Haughey's [state] funeral. His brother is a priest - dunno if he's still alive. But there he was on the pulpit, straight-faced and solemnly declaring that there will not be Charlie's like again. Knowing how disgustingly corrupt that fella was.

In a reverse example, when that freeloader Bishop Murray of Limerick resigned last year, his brother - a columnist for the Sunday World - launched a big rant about how his poor bishop brother had been wrongfully blamed blah blah etc.

Point is, some priests were republican and - wrongfully - aided the movement. I say that as a republican and a non-Catholic. They discredited themselves, 'the cloth' and republicanism by their involvement.

That said, I would concede that more of them were probably a very parochial and sectarian nationalist rather than republican as it is ideally/theoretically.

On a final note, re: O'Callaghan-reading - beware. The man is a habitual liar, a drunk and a bully.
 

Mickeymac

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"On a final note, O'Callaghan-reading beware. The man is a habitual liar, a drunk and a bully"

You just beat me to that one sir, less said about that clown the better.
 

DSCH

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Just remember - the Irish Catholic Church facilitated the ousting of the Sticks.
The sticks ousted themselves with their silly applied Marxist worldview. Unlike the splits in 1922, 1926 and more recently, SF's split in 1970 was the only time that the leadership abandoned a fantasy for a position that was even less rooted in reality.
 

Cruimh

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The sticks ousted themselves with their silly applied Marxist worldview. Unlike the splits in 1922, 1926 and more recently, SF's split in 1970 was the only time that the leadership abandoned a fantasy for a position that was even less rooted in reality.
The Catholic Church in Ireland backed the Provos over the sticks for the reason you gave - it was the time when the church was terrified of Reds under the bed - and it didn't help that Roy Johnston was a prod !

Was it a Catholic force ? Look at the Iconography. The hunger Striker Iconography aped RC iconography and it was only in the 90s that saying the Rosary, often In Irish, disappeared from mainstream Republican events such as the annual Milltown commemoration.
 

Mickeymac

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The Catholic Church in Ireland backed the Provos over the sticks for the reason you gave - it was the time when the church was terrified of Reds under the bed - and it didn't help that Roy Johnston was a prod !

Was it a Catholic force ? Look at the Iconography. The hunger Striker Iconography aped RC iconography and it was only in the 90s that saying the Rosary, often In Irish, disappeared from mainstream Republican events such as the annual Milltown commemoration.




Once again crumb you have displayed your ignorance on here regarding the 'relationship' between the provies and the catholic church.
 

EnglishObserver

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Perhaps with individual priests. I've no doubt you wouldn't need to look too hard to find similar links between individual Protestant ministers and loyalist murder gangs.
Far fewer I'd suspect. You see Protestant ministers had the legitimate security forces to 'link' with.
 

Northern Voice

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Once again crumb you have displayed your ignorance on here regarding the 'relationship' between the provies and the catholic church.
Care to expand? You seem very good at making points with zero evidence and zero analysis.
 

Mickeymac

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Care to expand? You seem very good at making points with zero evidence and zero analysis.




I suggest you read up on the subject sir as most onionists on here seem to be unaware of the fact that coffins of IRA volunteers were not even allowed into Catholic churches unless their national flag was removed from the casket, furthermore, Sunday pulpit sermons condemning the freedom fighters led to many walkouts from Masses throughout the sick, as I said earlier, read up more sir before coming on here with little or no knowledge of the subject for debate.....got it?
 


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